Recent articles in Consumer Affairs, NPR and Fox/Business News focusing on the economy, employment, mortgage interest rates, rising rents, consumer confidence, home prices, etc. all agree that 2015 could be the best year to buy real estate. Its getting expensive to be a renter . . . with rising rents the cost of putting a roof over your head can be significantly less, and more predictable, if you own vs. rent. With the improving economy all indicators point to rising interest rates by summer. Even just a half percentage increase in mortgage rates can have a big impact on affordability. Great loan programs offering far less than 20% down (as low as 3%), combined with historically low interest rates make buying a first home a reality. There are even loan programs that offer help with down payment and closing costs for moderate income buyers. (Contact me or your lender for more information.)
Is now a good time to sell your condo or house? Buyers taking advantage of low interest rates and favorable loan probrams are in the market NOW. Inventory levels are low now but typically increase as spring approaches. With less competition now is a great time to market your home to those buyers who want to be moving my spring, not just starting their search.
Downtown Bellevue condo values have recovered and are back to within a percentage or two of the pre-recession peak market. The biggest difference is availability – while values increased the number of condos sold in 2014 was 50% below the number sold in 2013 and 2015 is showing signs of more of the same. No new construction condo inventory will be available in 2015, so the buyer focus will be on downtown's existing communities. Downtown Bellevue is the hottest market on the eastside. If you plan to sell a condominium in or around downtown Bellevue now is the time to maximize your return on investment.